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Taoyuan County to become municipality

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taoyuan County is slated to become the nation's sixth municipality by the end of 2013, announced the Cabinet yesterday.

During the Cabinet meeting, Premier Sean Chen approved the proposal from the Ministry of the Interior (MOI) to promote Taoyuan County's status to that of a municipality. With the upgrade, Chen said, Taoyuan County should shoulder its responsibility in becoming the regional leader for Taoyuan, Hsinchu and Miaoli.

As the leader, the county should recognize the advantages of its leading technology industry, as well as its rich Hakka culture that could boost the development of economy, said Chen. The premier also instructed the MOI to give its full support to Taoyuan during the transitional period, and said he exptects the ministry to provide complete and continuous aide during the upgrade.

Chen suggested that the MOI collect forces from the Ministry of Finance, the Research, Development and Evaluation Commission, and the Directorate General of Budget Accounting and Statistics to discuss the finance issues of the transformation, hoping each bureau will help Taoyuan County in implementing what he described as “a seamless change.”

The MOI held a conference to examine the proposal to promote Taoyuan County in late November. Members of the committee had said that they believe Taoyuan's economy and population has reached maturity, and thus should now become a special municipality. They also perceived the upgrade to revitalize the regional economy, as it would accelerate Taoyuan's infrastructure projects such as the Taoyuan Airport Shopping Center project and Mass Rapid Transit systems.

Taoyuan County applied for an upgrade in 2009 but was denied. In June 2010, Taoyuan County had a population of 2 million, so the Executive Yuan allowed it to use special municipality-related organizations and budgets from Jan. 1, 2011.

According to Taoyuan County Magistrate Wu Chih-yang (吳志揚), the future international name for Taoyuan County will be “Taoyuan,” with no “city” after it. The current County-controlled city, Taoyuan City, will be renamed Taoyuan District to avoid confusion.

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